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Get Your Oktoberfest Game Face on in Ames!
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Get Your Oktoberfest Game Face on in Ames!

Don’t miss your chance to compete in some traditional (and not so traditional) German games at the 5th Annual Ames Main Street Oktoberfest presented by First National Bank. Haven’t been training for the “Guten Tag” games?  Don’t worry! Anyone of any skill level can participate and amateurs have even been known to win!

“I would recommend participants take part in the beer sampling prior to playing any games,” said Jess Clyde, Oktoberfest Committee Chair and owner of London Underground.  “It is my experience this will increase your skill level.”

Nagelspielen (or Nagelbock) is a German game all about “playing with nails”.  The object is to pound in one’s own nail into the wood before your opponent! This simple game reportedly dates to the first Oktoberfest in 1810. In many northern German taverns, a Nagelspielen game sits in a corner and losers are bound to buy the next round. If you join in the fun at the Ames Main Street Oktoberfest, you could win a prize and bragging rights courtesy of Café Diem!       

Stein Hoisting (Bierkrugstemmen) is a very simple game anyone can play! How long can you hold a beer stein filled with liquid (normally with beer) and held parallel to the floor with elbows locked. If you bend the elbow or spill/drop the stein you’re out. The last man or woman standing wins! (Also sponsored by Café Diem)

Jenga (there is really nothing German about this game, but we like it anyway) is a game of physical and mental skill created by Leslie Scott (she’s British, and that’s close to Germany.) During the game, players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then balanced on top of the tower, creating a progressively taller but less stable structure.  We will be playing the life-size version courtesy of McFly’s in downtown Ames. 

Keg Bowling involves setting up bowling pins and rolling an actual keg to knock them down.  Score is kept similar to regular bowling.  There is a national championship held every year in Denver, Colorado for Keg Bowling.  You won’t qualify for that by playing in downtown Ames, but you should be able to get some good Facebook photos out of competing! Not only did Perfect Games of Ames sponsor this game, they donated the bowling pins!

“If you only attend one Oktoberfest this year, make it in downtown Ames,” said Clyde.  “This event just continues to grow and improve year after year.”

Get your game on at Ames Main Street Oktoberfest presented by First National Bank and sponsored by Workiva, Saturday, October 22 in downtown Ames.  Oktoberfest will feature live polka music from Second Chair Brass, Bill Koncar, Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen, and classic rock-n-roll from Burnin’ Sensations.  There will also be a craft beer sampling event along with German food vendors.  Gates open at 1pm.

Tickets are $12 and $25 (includes beer sampling) at the gate, but you can get a discount by buying early online at


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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    This sounds absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the great fall post!
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